Is it worth the cost of getting your trademark registered for brand protection?
Is it worth the cost of getting your trademark registered? Well, I like to look at cost versus value and I also like to look at what would the cost of not getting the trademark registered be? Your trademark is your brand name and having it registered as a trademark is something that protects you.
Speaking from my own clients’ experiences, those that have come to me when they’re in trouble, sorely wish that they had gone and got their trademark registered prior to having a trademark dispute. I can promise you that trademark application, filing and registration costs will be significantly less than having to sort out the trademark dispute. So what protection does your trademark give you?
If you have it registered, that means your competitors can’t take it from you, they can’t register it and claim it as their own. That saves you the money, of your business being diverted to your competitors which is a significant saving. It also saves you, because the trademark registration is a defense to trademark infringement, so if a competitor says that you’re trying to steal their brand and you’ve got a trademark certificate, you are in a very strong position to not only win that kind of case, but to prevent it from going to court in the first place because you’ve got the trademark certificate.
Not everybody with a trademark certificate is the genuine owner of that trademark. There are times where somebody, who might have been your employee and might have gone out and registered your name as a trademark and now they’ve got the certificate but it’s your name and technically under the law, you own that trademark. But I tell you what, to take it to court, you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars, to get that trademark removed. The only way to get the trademark removed is to take it to court, so when you look at the potential expense and loss of income it’s worth it to get your trademark registered.
I’ve had a client who had a very similar situation, it wasn’t an employee but somebody took her name and registered it as a trademark and she decided she didn’t have money to fight the court case, so she just was going to rebrand even though she had the name first. The thing that cost her the most money was having to change her URL for her web because her clients could no longer find her and she lost about 80% of her business over two years until it built back up again because her clients couldn’t find her under her new name. So that’s the real cost of not getting your trademark secure.
What does it actually cost to have it done? Well, it differs from attorney to attorney but I can tell you what, it’s valid for 10 years and so if you take the cost and divide it over 10, it’s minuscule compared to tens of thousands of dollars in a potential trademark dispute, plus you have a valuable asset that you can sell at the end.
So is it worth the cost? I would say it’s definitely worth the cost, not only financially but also just to take that stress from your mind because as a small business owner, I know that one of my biggest stresses is I don’t wanna have any unexpected drama or problems in my business that are gonna divert me from running my business. So my view is that it is more than worth getting the money and investing it in your brand. My name is Cathryn Warburton and I am the Legal Lioness.